Thursday, May 24, 2012

Of the National Museum of China;

One of the larger buildings running along the side of Tiananmen Square is the National Museum of China. It is the most impressive museum I have ever seen. I never considered how nice a museum in a communist nation like China could be. Just the building it's in is incredible. It was built as one of the Ten Great Buildings of Beijing celebrating the first decade of the People's Republic of China. Inside it is filled some of the many treasures from the provinces all around China.

The view from the main entrance hall looking out
The inner-courtyard. It really amazes me how big this place is. There was also some intense security to get in.

The collections cover just about every period of Chinese history. The first room you see is filled with all the communist art. It was probably my favorite because I love nationalistic sculpture. Along the walls of the room are huge paintings depicting the struggles along the path to revolution and epic paintings of Mao's rise to greatness. Other galleries are filled with the most intricately carved natural resources of China. One room was devoted to gigantic carved jade pieces, another was sculptures made of ivory, while other rooms were full of works made of wood and precious stones. Another gallery covered Chinese history from the stone-age societies to the end of the Qing Dynasty.

Nationalistic paintings and statues.
A huge scene carved from many pieces of ivory.
A wooden relief carving.
Statue of Buddha
I'm not really sure what it is, but it is old.
In the 19th century Chinese loved European clocks and watches. This museum and the Forbidden City have collections of some of the most interesting and elegant clocks in China. This one is my favorite.

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